Soldier Dismissed for Failing to Open Fire on Palestinian Who Threw Firebomb at Him

The Israeli army said the soldier, who allowed the Palestinian to escape, failed to follow procedure but may be reinstated in the coming months

Yaniv Kubovich
Yaniv Kubovich
Palestinian, at left, who threw a Molotov cocktail at an Israeli soldier in the West Bank.
A still photo from security camera footage showing a Palestinian, at left, who threw a Molotov cocktail at an Israeli soldier in the West Bank, Dec. 19. 2020.
Yaniv Kubovich
Yaniv Kubovich

A Golani brigade combat soldier is being dismissed for failing to open fire on a Palestinian who threw a firebomb at him on Saturday in the West Bank and for allowing the Palestinian to escape, the Israeli army announced on Monday. But the statement added that "due to the complexity of the incident, in another several months, consideration will be given to reinstating him to combat."

The incident occurred near the settlement of Kedumim in the northern West Bank. Security camera footage shows the Palestinian approaching the soldier, lighting and throwing the Molotov cocktail and then running back to a car and fleeing the scene without the solider opening fire. The video footage of the incident, which did not result in any injuries, was shared on social media and sparked criticism in right wing political circles.

On Monday, the army said that it had conducted a preliminary investigation into the circumstances and concluded that the soldier, who had "spotted suspicious behavior" on the Palestinian's part, left the guard position where he had been stationed and began following army procedure for the arrest of a suspect. "Despite the complicated situation, the combat soldier would have been expected to complete the procedure for the arrest of a suspect and respond even by neutralizing the terrorist, as the open-fire directives require."

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